You’ve sent in your application, passed the virtual assessment, and had your fingerprints approved. Now you just have to finish orientation, and then you’ll officially become a USPS employee!
If you’re looking for answers about what happens at USPS orientation, what you should bring, and what to wear, then you’re in the right place. Check out our full guide to USPS orientation here.
USPS Orientation In 2023
After passing the application process, the virtual assessment, and the background check, new USPS recruits are invited to attend USPS orientation. This paid training consists of three days of classroom instruction, a driving test, and practical skills instruction. Orientation is also where new employees learn about USPS rules, ethics, and daily operations.
But we’re sure you have even more questions about USPS orientation, so keep reading to find the answers.
What Do I Do At USPS Orientation?
Although every USPS orientation is more or less the same, there will be some differences depending on where you live and which position you’ve been hired for.
On the first day, you’ll watch videos and listen to your orientation leader speak about general USPS policies. Topics include USPS rules, ethics, and diversity.
You may also watch videos about how USPS functions. For example, you may learn how mail gets to warehouses and how it is sorted.
On day 2, you may hear from a union representative from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and have a chance to join if interested.
You’ll also watch videos and receive training about safety policies. For instance, you may learn how to lift heavy cartons safely, how to avoid accidents, and how to fend off dog bites.
During the second day, you’ll also likely take badge pictures, fill out additional hiring paperwork, and be sworn in as a federal employee.
Day 3 is usually the last day you’ll be in a classroom for orientation. On this day, you’ll likely complete classroom driver training. As with the previous days, this will entail watching videos and listening to lectures.
You’ll learn about things like how to prevent rollaways, how to prevent accidents, and how to be aware of your surroundings when driving.
Following your classroom orientation, you’ll need to schedule a time to complete your driving test. When you schedule will depend on your local Learning Development and Diversity center.
Some people might take the driving test right after classroom orientation, while others may have to wait a week or more before completing the test.
USPS’ driving test is held on a closed course. For the test, you will drive either a Long Life Vehicle (LLV), a Flex-Fuel Vehicle (FFV), or a Promaster van through a series of cones.
You’ll also practice delivering and picking up mail from mounted mailboxes on the course. In addition, you’ll show that you can parallel park and back the vehicle up to a loading dock.
After your driving test, you’ll shadow a current postal worker. As part of this day, you’ll practice casing mail, setting up a vehicle for its route, and delivering mail.
Lastly, you’ll attend “academy”. This is hands-on training for letter carriers. During this training, you’ll practice casing and labeling mail.
What Is The USPS Orientation Schedule?
There is no fixed USPS orientation schedule. That’s because local Learning Development and Diversity centers (LDDCs) operate independently.
However, in general, you’ll be asked to arrive at your local LLDC between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM for the first three days of classroom orientation.
On paper, these days are scheduled for 8 hours. However, it seems like they usually last about 5 hours in practice.
After the classroom orientation, you’ll want to keep at least the next 7 days open for other hiring obligations like the driving test and the carrier academy.
Again, each LLDC is different, so you may complete these activities immediately after classroom orientation, or you may have to wait several days. That’s why it’s best to keep your schedule as open as possible.
What Should I Bring To USPS Orientation?
Your orientation email should provide exact information about what to bring to orientation, however, there are a few items you’ll need for sure.
- Your commitment letter (this is sent as part of your orientation email)
- 2 forms of government-issued ID (e.g. a Real ID driver’s license, a passport and a social security card)
- Proof of auto insurance (for rural carriers who will be driving their own vehicles)
What Should I Wear To USPS Orientation?
USPS’ orientation dress code is fairly flexible, so there’s no need to go out and buy new clothes. That being said, make sure your clothes are clean, neat, and fit well.
Jeans or slacks plus a button-down shirt or sweater is a perfect outfit for your first few days on the job.
You’ll likely take your ID badge picture on the second day of orientation, so make sure to wear something you feel confident and comfortable in on that day.
Prohibited items include:
- Clothing that is form-fitting or skin-tight
- Clothing with vulgar, offensive or sexually explicit writing/graphics
- Anything that is revealing or provocative (e.g. see-through shirts, tank tops, crop tops or skirts/shorts that are higher than 3 inches from mid-knee)
- Dangling jewelry
While USPS is pretty relaxed when it comes to clothing, they’re much stricter about shoes. You should wear shoes that are fully enclosed at the toes, heels and sides.
USPS recommends shoes made of leather or a substantial synthetic material like work boots, construction boots or combat boots. You may hear that shoes must be black, but this policy is not enforced.
Prohibited shoes include:
- Canvas or mesh sneakers
- High heels or shoes with a heel of more than 1.5 inches
- Open-toed sandals
- Jelly shoes or Crocs
If I Go To USPS Orientation, Does That Mean I’m Hired?
If you receive an invitation to attend USPS orientation, then yes, you are provisionally hired.
Being invited to orientation signals that you’ve passed the necessary steps and have qualified to be a postal worker.
Still, you must attend the classroom orientation sessions, complete the driver training course, shadow a postal worker and pass the driving test before being officially hired.
Where Is USPS Orientation Held?
USPS orientations are held at local Learning Development and Diversity centers (LDDC). You will receive information about where to go in the pre-orientation email USPS sends you.
Will I Get Paid For USPS Orientation?
USPS orientation, like all USPS training programs, is paid. On the first day of orientation, you’ll receive Form 1260 (also called a Nontransactor Card). This is where you’ll record the hours you complete during orientation.
Keep track of your card and take pictures as a backup in case it gets lost. In most cases, you should see payment for your orientation hours on your first paycheck.
In addition to getting paid for the training hours you complete, you will be reimbursed for mileage to and from orientation, as well as any parking fees you accumulated.
USPS orientation may seem like a long and tedious process—especially after waiting weeks or months to hear about your application. However, being invited to orientation is almost a guarantee of getting hired for a comfortable, stable federal job.
Be sure to keep that in mind as you’re completing the classroom orientation, the driving assessment and the on-the-job training. It may take a few weeks to complete, but the reward is worth it.